Sussex Police officer given warning for harassing woman
The Sussex officer, known only as Officer Z, bombarded the woman through email, WhatsApp, Facebook, text message and telephone. Officer Z , based in Haywards Heath, sent excessive emails to the woman, known as Female A, from November 19, 2020, and continued to do so despite being informed on December 19 and 21 that the level of emails was not acceptable her. They sent further emails despite being asked by Female A to stop.
Many of the communications to her were made while the officer was on duty on November 4, 16 and 17, 2020. A misconduct hearing was held at Sussex Police headquarters on January 8 and 9 in front of a panel led by an Independent Legally Qualified Chairman (LQC), who said the officer would remain anonymous. LQCs are selected from a list of independent, legally qualified people to conduct police misconduct hearings and are governed by Police Conduct Regulations.
The panel found Officer Z’s messages amounted to harassment and were a breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour for Discreditable Conduct. Officer Z was given a final written warning for two years. It was alleged that Officer Z engaged in controlling and coercive behaviour towards Female A.
It was also alleged that the conduct of Officer Z, if proved, amounted to gross misconduct and was so serious as to justify dismissal. These allegations were found not proven by the panel. Detective Superintendent Jon Robeson, deputy head of force professional standards, said: “Police officers and staff must behave in a manner that does not discredit the police service or undermine public confidence, whether on or off duty.
“All staff are aware of the standards of professional behaviour and the force remains committed to holding officers to account where they fall below the high standards the public rightly expect.”
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